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HMRC internal manual

VAT Business/Non-Business Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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VAT Business/Non-Business basics: UK VAT definition of business

Section 94(1) VAT Act 1994 says business includes any trade, profession or vocation. This section also “deems” some activities business. These are discussed at VBNB24000.

The section 94 definitions are not designed to be exhaustive. The VAT meaning of business has emerged through the judgments of UK courts and the European Court of Justice (CJEU).

It is important to note that, although the definition is similar to that used for Schedule D Income Tax, the courts have seen that “business” can have a different meaning for VAT purposes. It should not be assumed that direct tax legal precedent can be directly applied.